Summary of Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act 1986

Summary of Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act 1986


Muslim Women ( PROTECTION OF RIGHTS ON DIVORCE) ACT was enacted in 1986 in parliament of India by Rajiv Gandhi Government.

Muslim muslim women (protection of rights on divorce) act 1986 consists of 7 section with subject to the provisions

Mohd. Ahmed Khan v. Shah Bano Begum  AIR 945, 1985 was a landmark case which led to enactment of the act in parliament of india.

Introduction :-

This act was enacted to enforce that providing maintenance to women after divorce is lawful and mandatory subjecting to the conditions led down by this act and for the same she can approach to the court under sec 125 of criminal procedure code (crpc) that subject to the provisions for the maintenance of wives, childrens and parents irrespective of their religion.

The main provisions of the act states that :-

It is mandatory for the husband to provide maintenance to the wife after divorce till the iddat period ends.

  • ​Section 2(b) of the  Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986 defines  “iddat period “in the case of a divorced woman,—
  • (i) three menstrual courses after the date of divorce, if she is subject to menstruation;
  • (ii) three lunar months after her divorce, if she is not subject to menstruation; and
  • (iii) if she is enceinte at the time of her divorce, the period between the divorce and the delivery of her child or the termination of her pregnancy, whichever is earlier;

=]After iddat period if the woman is not having any sufficient means of living then also the husband will continue to provide maintenance to the wife but the quantum of maintenance must be reasonable and fair .

=]Therefore it can be said that a husband has to give maintenance to the wife until she is sufficient to maintain herself on her own but the amount should be reasonable.

=]​it is a right to provide alimony maintenance till two year from the divorce for the child [ legitimate or illegitimate] 

=]In some exceptional circumstances The divorce woman has a right to receive maintenance from the State Wakf Board. 

Main Case laws Relating to the Muslim women (protection of rights on divorce) act 1986 

  • Mohd. Ahmed Khan v. Shah Bano Begum  AIR 945, 1985.

Mohd. Ahmed Khan v. Shah Bano Begum case was a landmark case for the maintenance of women after divorce it was in this case  Where the Muslim women (protection of rights on divorce) act 1986  led down the cause to the  enactement of the act  and the supreme court held that a muslim women can also be entitiled to receive Mantaince from her husband after the divorse under section 125 of crpc while referring to the Muslims personal law as well.

  • Shabana Bano vs Imran Khan on 4 December, 2009

In Shabana Bano v Imran Khan the Supreme Court held that a Muslim divorced woman who has no means to maintain herself is entitled to get maintenance from her former husband even after the end of iddah period  and she can claim the same under section 125 Criminal procedure code 

  • Daniel Latifi vs Union of India, 2001

After the act passed it was confined that the maintenance would be provided till the iddat period but it was conflicted with the provisions led down or being described under  section 125 of the Criminal procedure Act therefore in this case court upheld the rule of ” reasonable and fair ” amount so that the maintenance would be last for lifetime subjecting to certain conditions. By this case judgement it provided a balance between both the act and the section provisions of maintenance. 

  • Jasbir Kaur Sehgal v. District Judge Dehradun (1997) 7 SCC 7,

In one of the case Jabsir Kaur Sehgal v. District Judge Dehradun, the Supreme Court laid down the following conditions  for determining the liability as well as the amount of maintenance payable to the women for maintenance that the court has to consider the status of the parties, their respective needs, the capacity of the husband to pay having regard to his reasonable expenses for his own maintenance and of those he is obliged under the law and statutory and the amount of maintenance fixed for the wife should be such as she can live in reasonable comfort considering her status and the mode of life she was used to when she lived with her husband and also that she does not feel handicapped in the prosecution of her case.

Review of the muslim women (protection of rights on divorce) act 1986

Muslim Women ( PROTECTION OF RIGHTS ON DIVORCE) ACT Consits of following sex section and futhur sub sections:- 

Section1. Short title and extent.

The act muslim women protection of rights on divorce has been extended to the whole india except jammu and kashmir

Section2. Definitions.

  1. Divorced women
  2. Iddat period
  3. Magistrate
  4. Prescribed( rule)

Section3. States and deals with Mahr or other properties of Muslim woman to be given to her at the time of divorce.

Section4. Order for payment of maintenance.

Section5. Option  to be provided to be  governed as per the provisions of sections 125 to 128 of Act 2 of 1974.

Section6. Deals with Power to make rules.

Section7. Provides Transitional provisions.


Author: Tanveen Kaur,
Chandigarh university/2 year/law student

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